• Get the NEW AquariaCentral iOS app --> http://itunes.apple.com/app/id1227181058 // Android version will be out soon!

Adding fish to a new tank

wickette

AC Members
Im having some hesitation on pulling the trigger on adding fish to my new 50g tank.

Since its empty I wanted to get fish wave of fish from petco/petsmart. My plan is to add them like:
Week 1: 4 tetras
Week 2: 2 tetras
Week 3: 4 loaches
Week 4: 2 loaches
etc

Question 1: Is this a sound plan, is the bacteria going to be able to keep up with the bioload increase rate... these are schooling fish, I dont like the idea of keeping them in sub optimal numbers.

Question 2: Since these are chain store fish Should I medicate the tank each week? Maybe do it at week 2 and again at week 6? Not medicate at all?

Question 3: If I do medicate, what should I use? Ive seen posts and videos on the common 3 med combo (Ich X, API General Cure, API Erythromycin). I much rather use a single broad spectrum treatment that treats just the most common things and not everything.
 

jbradt

this is bat country
If you're planning to do a fish in cycle, I think your plan is a little aggressive. You'll be better off to keep a minimal number of fish in the tank until the cycle completes. Then you can begin to add more. This will keep the danger of ammonia spikes, etc to a minimum. You're probably looking at 6 weeks or more for the cycle to complete.

Alternatively, you could cycle by adding ammonia (pure, from a bottle), or by adding a raw shrimp in a media bag. This way, the tank will have what it needs to cycle properly without risking any fish.

In terms of medicating... I'm not a fan of medicating unless its needed. Just because the fish came from a big box store doesn't mean they're necessarily sick. I would recommend just watching them and medicate if they show signs of illness. My basic belief here is if you don't NEED to add a chemical to the tank, then don't.

Edit to add: if you can get some filter media from a healthy, established tank; that can seed your cycle to speed up the whole process.
 

wickette

AC Members
If you're planning to do a fish in cycle, I think your plan is a little aggressive. You'll be better off to keep a minimal number of fish in the tank until the cycle completes. Then you can begin to add more. This will keep the danger of ammonia spikes, etc to a minimum. You're probably looking at 6 weeks or more for the cycle to complete.

In terms of medicating... I'm not a fan of medicating unless its needed. Just because the fish came from a big box store doesn't mean they're necessarily sick. I would recommend just watching them and medicate if they show signs of illness. My basic belief here is if you don't NEED to add a chemical to the tank, then don't.

Edit to add: if you can get some filter media from a healthy, established tank; that can seed your cycle to speed up the whole process.
I put in tetra safestart and had my 5y/o 3" comet living in there for a month with the tank about half full AND all the media from his bowl's box filter were moved into my 3 gallon canister. A 3" comet probably poops as much as three 2" tetras.
When I get the tetras, comet goes back to his bowl, water gets topped off with R/O water and the heater gets turned on.

Beneficial bacteria should be fine for that first wave, I'm not sure if it will it scale that aggressively, I dont like the idea of stressing out schooling fish by keeping there numbers too low for too long. I could get the tetras for twice the cost at a LFS but that doesnt gaurentee they're any healthier. It would be nice to get the tank 50% stocked for under $80. Then add the pricey fish a few months later when I know everything is perfectly stable.
 

FreshyFresh

Global Moderator
Staff member
Do you have a water parameter test kit? Is the tank cycled?
 

jbradt

this is bat country
Do you have a water parameter test kit? Is the tank cycled?
This is the question you need to answer at this point. If the tank is cycled then you're good to add fish slowly. If not, then it will take more time. Your water parameters are the best guide at this point.
 

wickette

AC Members
So nothing more I can do to make sure the cycle can handle so much fish other than monitor (and throw some plants in)?

As before medicating aren't all loaches wild caught, add to that the quality of care they get at petco, doesn't that make internal parasites more likely than not.
When I did keep fish I never bought them from chain stores, I also didn't realize how much cheaper they are at these stores. Golden Zebra loach $5.99 at petco, $13.99 at LFS.
 

jbradt

this is bat country
There's really nothing more you need to do unless you're seeing ammonia or nitrite in the tank. Are you seeing these? What are your readings? If you are not seeing them, then add fish slowly and continue to monitor.
 

wickette

AC Members
NH3 and NO2 are both 0. NO3 is some where between 10-20 on the API test kit.

I have my answer, no medication, keep testing. Thanks all.
 

FreshyFresh

Global Moderator
Staff member
Sounds good! Then it's a matter of gearing your weekly water change volumes to keep nitrates from not exceeding ~20ppm

I'm not sure which type of tetra you're wanting to keep, but with a 50gal tank, you could add a bunch of them at once and feed lightly until you're sure the tank produces nothing but nitrates. I wouldn't consider most tetras as being a heavy bio load fish, but most of your bio load is based upon what you use to feed your fish, which leads into another topic. Read the labels on your fish foods. The first 3-4 ingredients should be all good stuff. No grain products or fillers. You can feed less with quality foods which is important for maintaining water quality.
 
zoomed.com
hikariusa.com
aqaimports.com
Store
Top